News 21 Oct 2016

Wonthaggi in the frame to open 2017 MX Nationals season

Championship venues mapped out prior to official release.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Motul MX Nationals promoter Williams Event Management (WEM) has indicated Wonthaggi has been proposed as the opening round of the 2017 calendar in what would mark a welcome return to the series for the Victorian venue.

As per the provisional outline recently released, next year’s MX Nationals schedule will see three rounds hosted in Victoria once again, however with Broadford dropped from the calendar, it’s understood Wonthaggi is the favourite to replace it alongside Horsham and Shepparton.

“We are currently in the final stages of completing the calendar, but certainly there has been discussion to have Wonthaggi return to the schedule as the opening round,” WEM director Kevin Williams told “We’re expecting to release the formal venues before the end of this month.”

Horsham has featured as the opening round for the past two years, but is expected to move to the mid-season as round four, one week prior to Murray Bridge’s fifth round just 350 kilometres west, and both could include Women’s championship rounds. Shepparton should remain in July, as round seven.

Aside from that, with Western Australia not on the calendar for 2017 as the series only travels to Wanneroo bi-annually, an additional New South Wales stop has been listed on the provisional calendar – tipped to be Port Macquarie after WEM management visited the area earlier this year. Appin and Nowra are likely to remain.

Little change is anticipated for the three Queensland rounds of the series next year in terms of circuits as Conondale, Toowoomba and Coolum will almost certainly return, although the first of those will be bumped forward to the first half of the season. This year saw all three staged in the back-half.

The final formal version of the 2017 Motul MX Nationals calendar could be released officially as soon as next week, with WEM understood to be in the closing stages of completing the venue contracts this month.